Why Didn’t He Call Back? (Dating Mystery #23)

If you notice, the title does not read, “4 Reasons Why He Didn’t Call Back”. That would be a statement implying I know the reason (4 of them to be exact). I intentionally presented this as a question, because, in fact, I don’t know the answer. I have theories, and I am willing to share them with you, but unfortunately this is just one of dating’s true mysteries that strikes everyone from time to time. I am no exception and even though I use this platform to offer advice and encouragement, I ask myself that same question when it happens to me.
There are some dates where you know right away that no follow up call/date will come and with most of them you are truly grateful for that knowledge. Then there is the occasional ‘great’ date where all the elements seemed to fall into place. There was connection, ease, fun, maybe even chemistry. After a few bad ones, this date goes just the way you wanted it to. It ends with a lovely, “We should do this again sometime.” 

Then……………………..cricket, cricket……..nothing.

So, what happened? Let’s look at a few things.

1.      The most obvious reason could simply be he didn’t want to. Just because you (we) think the date went great, doesn’t mean he did. Maybe he is just a polite, great guy and had a nice evening but decided, for whatever reason, that you were not the one he wanted to pursue. So, he didn’t. Now, yes, it would have been helpful if he had followed up just to say that so there is no wondering and speculating, but in reality, that is a difficult task and honestly many do not take that extra step.  Another theory here is that there was someone else that he just liked a little more. Attraction is layered in so many things and many out here dating are talking to multiple people. You could have been a solid number two contender, but in the game of love, that’s really not where anyone wants to be. It could also be true, albeit not too likely, the one he has been holding out for, showed back up at the most inopportune time (for you, anyway).

2.      It is possible that something felt ‘off’ to him by the end of the evening. People dating in this day and age get spooked by the strangest things. The evening could have been going great, and then something you said or a reaction to a situation might have triggered an unconscious response. It most likely was completely innocent on your part, but just like we have certain red flags, so do guys. Certain men look for signs that a woman is controlling or too independent. They believe that will make for a difficult relationship with power struggles. Other guys try to pick up signs that you might be high maintenance or hard to please. In addition, men have a keen knack for sensing if a girl is just a little too needy or possibly in a hurry to start a new relationship. This will send a guy in the opposite direction quickly. I know this sounds unfair, because these assessments can often be made in error with no solid basis, however if they see or hear something that makes them question the ease of a long-term arrangement, they will cut their losses early.

3.      Maybe he is sitting there asking the same question about you! This is where it gets tricky for me. I am of the generation where the guys did the follow up; the chasing, the pursuing. It was a rite of passage for the man to be the one to steer the early stages of a courtship. Nowadays, not so much. And it’s just not with the younger guys. I recently had a conversation with a guy; a little older than myself. We had plans, through a text, to talk on the phone two nights later because of our schedules. There was no one specified to do the ‘calling’, but I assumed he would. I never got a phone call. Three days down the road I get a text message that simply said ‘?’. I was confused, so I asked him what was the question. He replied that he wanted to know why I didn’t call him. That started a back-and-forth text conversation that including phrases like ‘communication is a two-way street’ and ‘it takes fifty-fifty’. He was clearly agitated that I had not called him. And while I was not exactly agitated, I did surmise from his silence that he was no longer interested. It apparently was a misunderstanding that is repeated in scenarios everywhere. I am not opposed to calling or texting a guy. In a relationship, I do it quite often. I have also done my fair share of initiating contact either through online dating messages or follow up texts after a date.  However, it does register on my radar how often a guy reaches out to me and in what context. As I have gotten older (and maybe wiser?) I am more likely to give them the space to make that decision. It is really the only clear indicator to gauge sincere interest. I said all of that to say this; there are some guys who either from a place of insecurity or shyness, are waiting for you to make the next move. It is up to you to decide if you are comfortable with that and willing to assume that role.

The bottom line here, is that there are no easy answers or concise reasons for why a guy may not call you back. And the truth of the matter is, in the majority of cases, it is not because of anything you did wrong. So many variables go into the mix, and honestly there are more misses than hits. The goal then is to not focus or obsess about each date. Dating should be fun. So to the best of your ability, just enjoy the moments. Do things you want to do, go places you want to go, be yourself and soak up the experience. If it turns into Date #2, great! If it doesn’t, then recognize it as another chance to meet someone new, learn more about yourself and hone your social skills. Before you know it, the right one will appear, and Dating Mystery #23 will be a thing of the past!

Hope With Abandon

Hope Out! 


  1. You're right about the answers we "create" when there isn't information. But why are we so quick to assume fault?

    I wonder if self talk helps: writing down the bad assumption you're making and then, physically writing down an argument right after. I do believe we're not even aware sometimes how we're sabotaging ourselves.

    Not in this situation, but in others where I've chosen to view something negatively, I've practiced this - arguing with myself - and after a while, it can become automatic.

  2. Hi Susan. That is some great insight! Thanks for sharing!


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